Well, I was listening to “Red Like Roses” (part 2) and I got to thinking…for all of us people who are going about saying that the death that traumatized Ruby has already happened, we really need to kind of back it up a bit. And I think the best place to start is in how Monty himself describes her-as I pointed out in the previous post, he said “she has the widest, most honest eyes.”
I think that there is key. She has *honest* eyes. A lot of people, I think, may be associating *honest* with innocence, but that is not necessarily true. Really, we can not give Ruby any level of innocence. In the very first episode, she has no problem killing grown men. Granted, Yang also didn’t have much trouble shooting them in the face—-but that part of her fighting is to give oomph to her punch. They *could* be merely hospitalized. Well, it is at least feasible. Ruby literally impales one or two guys, cuts another in half…and is smirking. Yeah, no innocence. However, there is a level of honesty—-they *did* start it (kind of). And as childish as that sounds, it makes perfect sense. She merely responded to a threat and took it out. She had a realistic assessment of the situation, and really, her weapon isn’t one that she can use merely stun them :P You can actually see in the first episode where Ruby slices a guy in half—-complete with the dying sounds you hear in most video games.
Now, you can argue that they did start it (which they did) but…actually, she did throw the first punch. If she had just cooperated with them, there would have been none harmed and they would have just taken the dust and left—-but she decided to fight back and kill them. Since she threw the first punch, they responded and attacked more forcefully. Remember, the guy who first approached her merely grabbed her shoulder when she wasn’t responding and then pointed to tell her to take off her headphones. After that, he said “put your hands in the air” and all that typical stuff. He didn’t even brandish his weapon at her in a threatening manner. She sends him flying (yes, that was awesome). So the second guy, knowing that now they have an uncooperative “victim” brandishes his weapon (a gun) at her—-and yet he never fires! She sends him flying, but we don’t hear any kind of gun shot. Okay, so now they know that they have an all-out problem and go full on because she has *demonstrated* that she is trouble. From there she kicks, slices and dices, halves one, impales another and kicks some more. Freakin’ awesome, I agree—-but the whole situation was completely avoidable.
I think this is a great point that illustrates not only her lack of “Innocence” but also her attitude of feeling invincible. But, I also see this as illustrating her honesty. She wasn’t going to play victim for them because that is not who she is. She is a fighter, she has trained hard, and she’ll be damned if some hoodlum is going to rob *her* or a dust store while she is in the vicinity. ^_^
I want to make one small little insert that is a bit off-topic. Did anyone else notice how the hoodlums were all wearing red and black—-Just like Ruby? It stuck with me since the first time I saw it and it has been bothering me ever since. This whole world is about color and themes likes that, so….I don’t think it is a coincidence….or is it? Oh, and I LOVE how she was listening to the opening song on her headphones! :D I know, I am late…There was just never an opportunity to really mention it after forgetting to in my earlier posts. XD
So, according to Monty, Ruby is honest and straightforward—-we see this several times. She is honest about herself, from the point where she admits to doing something wrong and owns up to it. She is honest with others, yet respectful of their feelings on some levels (or tries to be). We see this with her and Jaune when they are showing weapons. And we all know that his weapon is more than meets the eye ;) She had no problem calling Weiss out on her bitchiness, either, and is willing to put herself in the middle of a fight to try and maintain some level of peace. So, she is really really honest. But this is not necessarily the innocent kind of honesty. This feels more like…experience honesty. I don’t think that Ruby’s sight is completely rose-colored. The only time she lacks confidence is when she feels people don’t have faith in her—-as was shown in Badge and the Burden. Weiss said she shouldn’t be leader, and that is when Ruby started doubting herself.
Now, someone with this kind of honesty rarely comes by it through lack of experience. It is actually a common theme in most Animes. The one who is so honest and kind and straightforward (almost always the protagonist) had some kind of tragedy in their life. In Fruit Baskets, the heroine’s parents were dead and she was living in a tent. Actually…a lot of them usually lose a parent or two. Cardcaptor Sakura—-mother dead by a young age, and you see hints of the effect on her older brother but she was too young. Rurouni Kenshin—killed his beloved and was an assassin before doing a complete 180. You get the idea ;)
Ruby is 15 years old currently. She obviously had a lot of support and people who cared for her—Yang, Qrow, and her “father”. Also, back at Signal she obviously “knew” some people, though it isn’t clear on what level. She just referred to them as the gang or the guys. Obviously, they were on a friendly enough level with her that she wrote to them about her experiences thus far at Beacon. Carrying the scars of losing someone who means the world to you does not mean you have to break out in all emo-angst-goth whatever (and no stabs…I was the goth XD). People handle trauma in many different ways. Ruby is extremely clingy to Yang. She is uncomfortable with meeting new people, thus uncomfortable with forming new bonds that could be severed suddenly. She finds security in weapons—maybe too much. To her, they are people. They are also her protection and support. Monty did mention that she was too reliant on her
weapon, and this may be why—she actually does have a fear of dying or at least being unable to do the things she does without. She is a girl with a mission, and the mission to help people by becoming a Huntress (because it is just soo cool and romantic and stuff!) However, she was trash…she sucked as a fighter until Qrow stepped in. He taught her, gave her focus, and removed whatever barrier was keeping her back…perhaps the barrier of feeling she wouldn’t be good enough.
You see, I think that Summer Rose’s death is the perfect push that made Ruby decide to become a Huntress. Ruby was probably young—-maybe around 11 or a little bit younger—when she died. There would be plenty of time for Ruby to feel angry, angsty, and eventually be caught by the people who love her and saved from her own insanity. We see hints of this in “Red like Roses Part 2” as well as “Gold”. I think gold is the big thing—-it is a lullaby hinting at how Yang would protect Ruby during the night. I imagine that this is the time Ruby was having nightmares about her mother’s (Summer Rose’s) death. In “Red Like Roses II” she sings about how “red like roses” fills her dreams and later points out that the red is actually blood. So Ruby probably has been a victim before—-a victim of her own mind. Have you ever wanted to be able to protect yourself and the people you love? To never be a victim again? That is Ruby. Again, we see honesty creep up here. She really does want to protect others—-particularly Yang and probably her new friends now. She probably even wants to protect Qrow, who she obviously knows is a Hunter. She doesn’t want to lose anyone ever again.
I have a feeling that we are going to learn more about Ruby in July, when they start up Volume 2. I am feeling very confident that this may be round about the right track. I mean, we already are learning that none of the characters are two dimensional. The stuck up girl isn’t always stuck up—she has a protective and motherly streak as well and gets obsessed with something easily. The brash girl is also nurturing and has wise advice to give. The quiet book worm is sarcastic and sassy. The crazy non-stop talking girl is a genius (Every time I watch her, I become more and more certain of this!) So why not the “honest” girl have a dark shadow inside her that she is still fighting—-that will rear its head soon. :D